HAYS, Kan. After falling 4-0 to Class 5A powerhouse Bishop Carroll on the Golden Eagles' artificial turf field in Wichita last Friday, the Monarchs came back with a vengeance against Wichita-Word of Life three days later.
Back on familiar ground — as in natural grass — the Monarchs blanked Word of Life 10-0 at the Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex.
In so doing, the Monarchs became the first girls' team in TMP program history to win 10 games in a season.
TMP (10-3) also assured itself of a top-three seeding in the Class 4-3-2-1A South Central regionals, which begin next week.
All 13 of the Monarchs' games have been shutouts this season. While their three losses were to state-ranked or undefeated teams, TMP has shut out its other 10 opponents by a combined score of 55-0, shattering its old school record of 41 goals set a year ago.
Coach Darryl Wellbrock constantly talks about his starting 18 instead of a starting 11 because of his team's depth..
Wellbrock has used many a different starting lineup this season, and he did again Monday. And the result was much the same as it has been all season.
This time, the scoring leader was freshman Ashley Ostrander, whose hat trick moved her goal total for the season to six.
Ostrander is one of a half dozen Monarchs who have at least six goals this season, and sophomore Madyson Koerner isn't far behind with five after scoring two Monday.
Ostrander is talented enough to start in goal for a lot of teams, but she is the Monarchs' backup goalkeeper to sophomore Deonna Wellbrock, an all-state selection her freshman season last year.
That suits Ostrander just fine.
"I like playing both (goalie) and in the field," she said, "but I like the field better."
The Monarchs defeated Word of Life 10-0 earlier this season, and Ostrander knew she likely would be in goal the second half especially since the visiting Fire (7-4) didn't get a single shot on goal the first half.
So Ostrander took advantage of her time in the field. She scored her team's first goal in the seventh minute, then added three more goals in a span of less than two minutes about midway through the first half.
Ostrander gave her teammates credit for their accurate passing, and it's that type of attitude that has contributed to his team's success, Coach Wellbrock said.
"They don't care who scores," he said.
Leading 6-0 at intermission, Monarch sophomore Megan Koenigsman added to that lead early in the second half. TMP then wore down the Fire, scoring its final three goals — and ending the game because of the mercy rule — all within a couple minutes of each other with more than 22 minutes left on the clock.
That kind of dominance is a far cry from Wellbrock's second year of coaching the Monarch girls' team in 2011, when it was outscored 90-6 for the season and won one just one game.
Those days are long gone.
When this year's junior class entered high school, in 2012-13 in Wellbrock's fourth year of coaching the girls, it helped the Monarchs win as many games (four) that spring as they had the previous three years combined. Last year, TMP doubled that amount of victories and finished 8-3-2 in qualifying for state for the first time.
Last year, TMP was able to play its regional title game at home after tying Wichita North on the road in a double overtime thriller to earn the No. 3 seed in the regional.
Win or lose Thursday, the Monarchs are already assured of hosting a South Central regional.
But Wellbrock doesn't want to coast into post-season. He wants the Monarchs to play as hard as, if not harder than, they did last Friday against Bishop Carroll, one of the top-ranked teams in 5A which has nine seniors on its varsity roster.
Carroll (13-1) hasn't allowed a goal in 13 consecutive games — while scoring 57 itself — after losing its season opener 3-2 to 6A Maize High, which also has lost just one game all season.
Those two schools and TMP all are ranked fourth in the state in their respective classes.
"One of the things we need to work on is scoring," Wellbrock said, "and that's what we did today."
"But we can't let up," he said, turning to give one last comment to his players as they left the field. "Come ready to practice hard tomorrow."